Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
You Don’t Have To Go To War To Fire A Machine Gun From A Helicopter Anymore
In case you’re feeling nostalgic about opening fire on a battlefield from a heavily-armed military helicopter, an arena in Las Vegas will now let you pay them the totally reasonable price of just $689 to play machine gunner in a battle-ready helo, complete with 360 degrees of pure desert sand.
The company, helpfully called Machine Gun Helicopters, is attempting to recreate an authentic military door gunner experience by taking customers up in a modified Eurocopter AS350 B2 A-Star helicopter and letting them fire off 100 rounds from a fixed M249 (SAW) belt fed machine gun or an M60 belt fed machine gun.
Photo via Machine Gun Helicopters
“Once in the helicopter customers will experience two gun runs on our purpose built aerial gun range under the direction and control of our helicopter range masters,” the site reads.
In order to attend, you must be at least 18 or 15-17 with a guardian’s consent, you can’t be drunk, and you definitely can’t be pregnant. Sounds reasonable to us.
Photo via Machine Gun Helicopters
So if you’re in Vegas and you have roughly $700 to throw away, give it a shot. It sounds better than wasting your hard-earned cash trying to play the slots.
NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.